Vandemataram Foundation (VMF) has been working to strengthen the Government schools in Warangal and Mahbubnagar Districts since 2005, majorly to improve the quality of education and impart moral education.
VMF activities are in support of Government as a link between Government schools and public. VMF conducted a detailed investigation and understood that there should be a system to support Headmasters and that support should come from the community.
Headmaster and teachers are left on their own to perform various activities which are aligned to Government authorities and their regular duties. Parents don’t even attend the parent teacher meetings. They are never bothered to know what is happening in schools and what their role is. Instead some of them send their wards to private schools. Thus the enrollment is schools in low and the dropouts are increasing as there is no environment at schools to keep the continuous motivation for the child.
This situation lead us to think differently. We have designed a break through approach to address the issue of ownership at schools in support of achieving goals of education and to keep parents, teachers and students connected throughout for successful running of the school. The approach is to constitute Village Educational Committees under the honorary chairmanship of Village Sarpanch supported by VMF Consultation.
VMF has taken up this initiative in the year 2015 and sensitized 12000 people in 30 villages and provided consultation support to them to form committees and define their functions. The result of VMF Consultation is that as of today, 30 Village Educational Committees have been running in various villages in Warangal district. 20 more in pipeline.
These committees were constituted by the villagers who are majorly parents of the school children and Headmasters. Village Sarpanch acts has the honorary chairman. VMF trained volunteer also will be part of the Committee. Each committee will have 50 members and committee members include, old students, educators, donors and village self-help group members.
At a lower level each class in a village will have one class convener, 4 incharges such as
- Parents In-charge,
- Academic In-charge
- Infrastructure In-charge
- Event In-charge
Parent In-charge: The primary duty of Parent In-charge is to bring improvement towards parent and student connect and parent teacher connect.
- To ensure parent teacher meeting happens successfully
- To inform parents about day to day growth and issues of children in class
- To ensure parents come forward to attend to the needs of their children education
- To ensure parents involve in school activities for the successful running of the school.
Academic In-charge (AI)
Class-wise academic performance issues will be dealt by the Academic In-charge.
- To ensure classes run for all subjects. If a subject teacher is not available then raise those issues in meetings and suggest alternative so that classes run smoothly
- To ensure required teaching material is available to each classes
- To ensure student participation and student readiness for academic programs
- To ensure books are available to all students. If there is scarcity of the books, then raise this issue in monthly meetings for appropriate actions.
- AI will also verify the class-wise standards regularly and feedback to the committee.
- AI will identify slow learners and closely watch their performance. He will keep their parents informed of their performance.
- AI will ensure the syllabus is completed on-time.
Event In-charge (EI)
- Event in-charge will take the ownership to ensure the class-wise participation of students in the events.
- To ensure all requirements for conducting the events are available in schools on time.
- To ensure daily assembly is conducted in schools
- To ensure events like Bala Sabha, national festivals are done with special focus.
- To encourage students participate enthusiastically.
Class infra in-charge will ensure that the classroom has the infrastructure required for the comfort of the students, fans are running, bench are not broken, if broken fixing those, library is maintained, science material required by the teacher, fixing issues with toilets, water facilities. Only a few identified infrastructure fixes will be done by the class Infra in charge by mobilizing the funds from community.
Head Master involvement:
Head master involves at academic and infrastructure committee activities. High School Headmaster is member secretary in VADC. He will be the one of the three signatories for the bank account. All committee meetings will provide regular updates to Headmasters.
Support with initial funding to each committee. VMF provides consultation and helps in establishing committees. VMF participates in meetings and support committee level activities. VMF Volunteer run the after school session to facilitate students’ day to day assignments and Conducting Meetings. VMF Volunteer plays a CATALYST role for the committees.
All these Classwise incharges and convener will form a Classwise committee at village level. One of them will be elected as President. They meet every month along with school Headmaster and VMF Volunteer and discuss on various points of 4 classwise committees and take actions as required locally. They also manage the budget and bank account.
All of these committees primarily work on agreed minutes and resolutions.
As of today all the 30 VEDC have opened joint bank accounts with 3 mandatory signatures between Headmaster, Committee President and VMF volunteer. VMF contributed funds to the tune of Rs.25 thousand per committee. Most Village Education Committee accounts have around Rs.3 to 4 lakhs funds each now. The committee will decide judicially on the spend for the school.
We have seen the enthusiastic participation of villagers to form committees and collect funds for running school committee activities.
Surely there is increased attention of the parents about their children education and behavior and they are coming forward to understand school requirements.
We also witnessed that these committees are helping Head Masters in his duties for successful running of the school.
We also noticed that Villagers recognizes the government spend on schools, and are willing to stand by the side of the Government. The concept of Our school, our village and our country is getting strengthened.